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The Source

  • Location:
    Netherlands Media Art Institute, Keizersgracht 264, Amsterdam, NL

NIMk presents The Source
with Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec, Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, Paul Prudence and Francisco López.

On the interactions of extraterrestrial light with the atmosphere and biosphere an exhibition and a meeting of Synergetica: Art-Science Society

Exhibition opening: Wednesday, May 9th, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM

With Synergetica - lectures and performance: May 9th, 7:30PM to 9:00PM
During the opening Dr. Raoul Frese will give a special presentation about artificial photosynthesis by biophysicist. There will also be a presentation by Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec, Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand. Evelina Domnitch en Dmitry Gelfand will activate the particle chamber during the opening. This installation will only go live once a week (on Saturdays), due to a limited supply of liquid nitrogen.

Opening hours exhibition: Tuesday through Friday 11 am - 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

The phenomenon of light can, due to current scientific progress, become the new tool for the new artist. - Marcel Duchamp

Both the messenger and the message, both particle and wave, extraterrestrial light carries information about the entire universe into the eye of the beholder. As it unfolds into all the diverse structures of matter, eventually breathing life into some of them, light shapes its environment, and in turn, the environment reshapes light. Mastering this two-way tuning process can lead to ‘enlightenment’, as exemplified by recent breakthroughs in artificial photosynthesis, a nearly lossless translation of sunlight into bio-solar fuel. Earthbound solar, galactic and interstellar radiation can also be aesthetically harnessed to procure the optimal fuel for the human imagination. The Source reveals extraterrestrial light as an inexhaustible muse as well as a wellspring of clean energy for Earth’s inhabitants. Part of StudioLab, an EU art-science initiative, The Source will open with a presentation about artificial photosynthesis by biophysicist, Raoul Frese (VU, Amsterdam). Researching photosynthesis at the supramolecular level, Frese implements photosynthetic bio-polymers in hybrid solar cells and mimics photosynthesis using synthetic molecular compounds. “Every 90 minutes, the sun radiates an amount of energy equal to the annual consumption of the world population. By the process of photosynthesis, plants, algae and certain bacterial species have mastered the direct utilization of this energy to power their metabolism. Now we must learn from the natural process. (R. Frese)”.

Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec’s installation, Virtual Hole - Sun 1:1 (2011) invites audiences to experience the Sun’s intricate radiance through a full-spectrum indoor simulation, occurring synchronously with the ever-changing sunlight directly outside the exhibition space. A sensor on the roof of the building feeds the amplitude, color temperature and diffusion of sunlight into a synthetic environment that analyzes and mirrors these subtleties. One’s architectural confines are intended to dissolve, allowing the immaterial, transitory surroundings to saturate the dwelling.

In Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand’s Memory Vapor (2011), visitors will encounter another kind of extraterrestrial light, a ubiquitous cascade of subatomic particles, known as cosmic rays. Customarily beyond the reach of the senses, ionized nuclei, protons, electrons, as well as more exotic antiprotons and gamma-ray bursts continuously arrive to Earth from outer space. Most of this subatomic cascade does not even originate in the solar system, but from within our galaxy, and the fastest, highest energy particles are likely catapulted from extragalactic supernovas or active black holes. Within the low temperature gas (-200 °C) of the Memory Vapor installation, these cosmic rays are rendered visible as they are trailed by threads of condensation droplets. A white laser sheet scans and illuminates the emerging droplets, transforming the gas into a dynamic prism that vastly extends the spatio-temporal perception of particle trajectories.

Bioacoustic Phenomena (2010) immerses audiences in the primordial waters where light-imbued matter first came to life. A collaboration between generative video artist Paul Prudence and composerbiologist Francisco López, this audiovisual installation imagines the delicate cellular dynamics that marked the inauguration of the biosphere. Akin to the subatomic particles in Memory Vapor, specifically evolving entities come in and out of existence, sparking a sense of the thin line dividing living and inanimate matter. Each of these artworks brings into focus the invisible source of it all, and the foundation of all visibility.

This exhibition is part of Studiolab, an EU art-science initiative, and is hosted by the Netherlands Instituut voor Mediakunst with the generous support of the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, EU 7th Framework Programme, European Cultural Foundation, Kapelica Gallery/ Zavod K6/4, Zavod Projekt ATOL, Stichting Optofonica, Ministry of Culture Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana, Mondriaan Fonds - Amsterdam, GAVITA Holland BV, Ocean Optics, Hans Graafmans - Lightco Nederland BV.

Studiolab is a 3-year Europe-wide initiative that merges the artist's studio with the research lab. Funded by the EC Seventh Framework Programme in 2011, Studiolab is a European network that provides a platform for creative projects that bridge divides between science, art and design. Through a synergistic network, Studiolab is inspiring new approaches to environmental, technological and social challenges and providing a template for innovative art science collaborations. Studiolab involves interaction between 13 leading centres of scientific research, artistic excellence and experimental design accross 12 European countries. These partners are collaborating and working with world leading scientists, artists, and designers to pilot projects using integrated processes of incubation, education and public engagement. www.studiolabproject.eu/

Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec (SI/NL) is an artist and musician based in Amsterdam, working with invisible ephemeral phenomena and the notion of space. His artistic practice is a poetic exploration of relationships between transitory and temporal flows like sound and weather phenomena and architectural and social spaces they inhabit. In his installations, he makes architecture sensitive to its immediate ephemeral surroundings and enhances the temporal dimension of architecture by creating situations where the outside and inside, the unpredictable and constructed, the permanent and temporal converse. His works encompass interdisciplinary and mixed media installations, sound interventions in public spaces and electro acoustic music. His works were shown and performed in various art galleries, museums and music festivals internationally.
Among others: Kapelica Gallery - Ljubljana, Public Space With a Roof Gallery (PSWAR) - Amsterdam, Ars Electronica - Linz - Austria, Museum of Modern Art - Ljubljana, AV Festival - Newcastle Upon Tyne, SKUC Gallery - Ljubljana, Madrid Abierto - Madrid, Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam, … In 2010 his work Virtual Mirror - Rain got awarded Hybrid Arts Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria. http://www.taogvs.org/

Dr. Raoul Frese is an assistant professor in biophysics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, in the Faculty of Science at VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dr. Frese graduated in experimental physics at the University of Amsterdam in 1995. Since, he has researched natural photosynthesis on the molecular and supramolecular level. Recently he has gained major funding from the Dutch science organization NWO for his research on ‘Nanoscale Photovoltaics and Photochemistry on Biosolar Cells’. The goal of his research is to enhance or redirect photosynthetic performance and to create solar-to-fuel energy cells. http://www.few.vu.nl/~frese/Raoul.html

Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and computer science with uncanny philosophical practices. Current findings, particularly in the domain of mesoscopics, are employed by the artists to investigate questions of perception and perpetuity. Having dismissed the use of recording media, their works exist as ever-transforming phenomena offered for observation. In order to unveil these quantum processes, the duo has collaborated with numerous scientific research facilities, including the Drittes Physikalisches Institut (Goettingen University, Germany), the Institute of Advanced Sciences and Technologies (Japan), Ricso Lab (Russia) and the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam). They are recipients of the Japan Media Arts Excellence Prize (2007), and three Ars Electronica Honorary Mentions (2007, 2009, 2011). http://portablepalace.com/

Paul Prudence is a audio-visual performer and installation artist working with computational, algorithmic and generative environments. His work, which had been shown internationally, focuses on the ways in which sound, space and form can be cross wired to create live-cinematic visual-music experiences. He is also interested in data visualisation techniques, process-based environments and emergent systems. Paul maintains the research weblog Dataisnature in which he writes about the interrelationships between natural processes, computational systems and procedural-based art practices. Dataisnature has been used on a number of academic course syllabus's worldwide. http://www.transphormetic.com/

Francisco López is internationally recognized as one of the major figures of the sound art and experimental music scene. Over the past 30 years he has developed an astonishing sonic universe, absolutely personal and iconoclastic, based on a profound listening of the world. Destroying boundaries between industrial sounds and wilderness sound environments, shifting with passion from the limits of perception to the most dreadful abyss of sonic power, proposing a blind, profound and transcendental listening, freed from the imperatives of knowledge and open to sensory and spiritual expansion.
He has realized hundreds of concerts, projects with field recordings, workshops and sound installations in over 60 countries of the five continents. His extensive catalog of sound pieces (with live and studio collaborations with over 150 international artists) has been released by more than 250 record labels worldwide. He has been awarded three times with honorary mentions at the competition of Ars Electronica Festival and is the recipient of the Qwartz Award 2010 for best sound anthology. http://www.franciscolopez.net/

Netherlands Media Art Institute
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T 020 6237101
F 020 6244423

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